Stoewer, Henderson get “Three-Diculous” in Lady Cougars’ Top 10 Tilt Over Lincoln Land

Threes were wild on Saturday (Feb. 9) afternoon as Summer Stoewer’s career-high 33 points helped the No. 1 Illinois Central College women’s basketball team to an 82-76 win over No. 9 Lincoln Land in M-WAC action in Springfield.

Stoewer went 6-8 from long range while fellow sharpshooter Emma Henderson was also hot from downtown, going 4-9 from the arc to cash in 14 points. Running mate Marquitta Easley added 15 points to pace ICC, who moves to 22-1 overall (22 in a row) and 5-0 in M-WAC action. LLCC, who was riding a 12-game win streak, fell to 20-2.

Madison Faulkner got three mid-range baskets early on and Stoewer nailed her first trey from the right wing as the teams battled from the get-go, with the Cougars holding a slim 15-14 first quarter lead.

The second quarter was the pivotal one for the Cougars as Stoewer led the quarter off with a trey, assisted by Kathy Pinnock-Branford, followed by a Jordyn Hare put-back and Marquitta Easley runner to give ICC a 22-21 lead. The Cougars then turned up their defense, forcing three straight Logger turnovers, which Stoewer cashed into two more treys and a layup, and ICC was up 30-23.

Henderson followed suit with back-to-back 3-pointers of her own, with assists from Josi Becker, to boost the lead to 36-25. The Cougar defense held steady, allowing the Loggers to score only one more point in the final four minutes, while Stoewer added another long-range bomb and Pinnock-Branford scored on a transition layup, assisted by Easley, giving the Cougars a 41-25 advantage at the half.

LLCC scored two quick baskets to start the half, but the Cougars responded with a Coates’ basket and a Stoewer 3-pointer, assisted by Becker, to stay up 48-34. Henderson splashed in a long two-point shot and another trey, assisted by Easley, helping ICC to eventually take a 56-40 lead. Despite another put-back by Hare and baskets by Easley, the hosts trimmed the Cougar lead to 63-50 heading into the final period.

Pinnock-Branford found Henderson for the Cougars’ 10th trey of the game on the first possession of the final quarter, followed by a steal and old-fashioned 3-point play by Stoewer, but LLCC would not go away quietly. The hosts turned up their defensive pressure and attacked the paint on the offensive end, going on a run to close the gap to 74-66 with just under three minutes remaining. The Cougars steadied themselves, and Stoewer — who had 11 points in the final quarter —, Easley, and Coates closed out the game with free throws for the win.